FOX, of course, is not alone in asking the courts to enforce FOIA requests for information on the various bailouts. Bloomberg filed a similar suit against the Federal Reserve on November 7.
But one thing that makes FOX’s efforts different are the degree to which they’ve become a populist point of pride. Take, for example, the ads the network bought in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. “FED UP WITH THE FEDS?” one asked, in the form of a typewritten red meat memo to the “American People.” (“WE ARE!” screamed the ad in response.)
“That’s all a part of putting out the word that we are trying to operate in the best interest of our audience,” Magee told CJR. “There’s an awful lot of people who aren’t CEOs but who follow the stock market, and who are interested in the US economy. If it comes down to one channel will get all the CEOs and one channel will get everyone else, I’d like to be the channel with everyone else.
“It is not a wild publicity stunt. I will say this: we are new. We are trying to differentiate ourselves from that which is out there. One of the ways that we want to differentiate ourselves is to tell our audience that we are trying to protect their interests. We think that’s a wide-open field. CNBC seems to always be the friend of the CEO and that’s fine, nothing wrong with that. It has served them well,” said Magee. “But we also believe that as journalists, we have to ask difficult questions. And I really think that this is part of that, and if it does differentiate us from our competition, that’s a good thing, and I’m not gonna worry about it.”